4 Tips for Surviving the Holidays


Believe it or not, the holidays are here. Here are a few tips to help you survive this crazy time!

1. Care for yourself. Unfortunately it seems the busier we are, the harder it is to make time for self-care. Yet, the times when we're busy and stressed are the times we need self-care the most. Often we are going 100 miles an hour during the holiday season and we end up just kind of crashing into our holiday gatherings frazzled, exhausted, and without much energy for the people we're with. Think about how you can make self-care part of your routine and how you can protect that time/space to make sure it doesn't get bulldozed by holiday demands. Make a plan ahead of time so that you’re not trying to create a plan when you’re in crisis mode.

2. It's okay to say "no". It's amazing how many parties, activities, and gatherings happen around the holidays. Between Friendsgiving, white elephant gift exchanges with extended family, your office holiday party, and all the holiday activities you want to take your kids to, you're in for an extremely busy season. Though these are all great things, you don't have to say "yes" to every invitation. Choose your yeses wisely so you can leave some time to breathe and enjoy the holiday season with those who are most important to you.

3. Take breaks when you need them. Even if we get along great with our family or our partner’s family, the holidays often mean spending days of uninterrupted time together. That can be intense! Talk with your partner about how you both can get the breaks you need - it may mean going for a walk, reading in bed for a little while in the morning, or taking a drive to get your favorite fancy coffee drink. If you and your partner can manage to get a small break together, that’s nice too!

4. Schedule couple time. The holidays can get so busy that we end up neglecting the relationships that are most important to us. Even if it’s not something you normally do, during this season it can be especially helpful to actually schedule time with your partner. Make an appointment, put it on the calendar. When some other opportunity comes up for that time (and it will), have the courage to say “no”. Prioritize your relationship and go into the new year strong!

Sometimes it can feel like the holidays come in like a whirlwind, and we are just blown whichever direction it takes us. Remember that it doesn’t have to be that way - you have some control over how the next couple months look! Take the reins.

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© 2016 by Amanda Hofbauer

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Amanda Hofbauer, MA, LMFT

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